Underwrite and Under-Write

Anyone who doubts the potential for a Depression needs to read the newspaper. No, don’t bother with the front page or the business section – skip over to the part that matters.  A quick glance at the ads taken out by retail stores shows an amazing number of deep sales, running 50 or even 75 percent off on everything.  They’re doing this because the stores are unusually, unreasonably quiet.  That’s the defining characteristic of any market failure, whether you’re looking at it from the strip mall or the Capitol Mall.  It’s the unusual quiet that comes from everyone staring at each other, shrugging their shoulders.

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